Judge: Michele Usher
Abstract is from a Latin word meaning "pulled away, detached" and the basic idea is of something detached from physical or concrete reality.

Now combine abstract with Nature, see images for inspiration https://digital-photography-school.com/abstract-nature-photography/


Great, love the tones and the motion blur to give an abstract feel to this plant.  There’s a nice softness and gentle feel to the image.  Be careful with the highlights when processing.

Earths Pressure
Great use of side light to give a 3d feel to this image.  It reminds me of the skin of an elephant.  There seems a roughness to this image. I like the patterns and there are a number of different images within the frame that could be further explored to produce a similarly strong result.  Well seen and processed

First sunflower 

Wow what an amazing blast of colour.  Really gives a summer feel to the image.  I like the concentric circles that take my eye into the centre, there seems to be thousands of little soldiers with bright yellow helmets surround the main focus.  Great image, well seen 

Flax Leave 
Simple and elegant.  The light on this image is beautiful.  The streak of red looks like the tail lights of some sports car as it disappears along the highway.  You might what to consider cropping the top right corner as that patch of green is a little distracting or tone it down in post processing. 

Flowers of Flax 
A nice concept where the abstract possibly comes more from the processing than in camera.  I like how you have attempted to produce the Monet effect but colours (saturation) are a little too over powering for my liking, softer tones I think would make a stronger image, don’t be afraid to experiment. The background really draws my eye away from the main point of the image but once again this can be changed in processing. 

Ghost trees 
Another good example of how the use of side lighting gives a 3d feel to the image.  These trunks look as if they are about to come out of the screen – a Lord of the Rings moment.  Lots of detail throughout the image and my naturally travels up the frame explore all the details and tones.  Well processed.

Herring Stream, Seaward Kaikouras 

A nice concept.  I get a real feeling of falling into this image.  Standing on the cliff edge about to go over.  So for me there are two stories to this image.  The one I have just described of suicide (hopefully that not the image you wanted) and the possible abstract image of the patterns within the rocks.  The latter I think you can easily achieve by just cropping the lower edge so that my eye can focus on the grey, hard patterns in the rocks.  Try it and see what you think.

Images on Ice 
A great concept – the strong lines from the broken ice making me focus on the rock in the lower part of the frame.  There are some lovely patterns made I’m assuming from the water beneath the ice.  I find my eye is drawn to them, wanting to see more.  For me the crop is a little tight on the rock and I wonder if you took any images from above? There’s a lot of negative space in the left lower corner of the frame which isn’t adding to the story for me, would it be stronger if you tried cropping this a little? 

Lava Field 
There’s the making of a strong abstract here.  The wrinkled folds remind me of skin which running down the centre of the frame taking my eye to what looks like a very large extended tummy button (sorry but it did make me smile).  A closer crop of this area would for me make a stronger abstract feel.  The side lighting helps to give texture to the image making the image seem rough and dried out.  Well seen and processed 

Match Sticks

Good use of a leading line to take my eye to the main focus.  My eye travels along the trunk and into the mass of and then out of the frame.  I think a closer crop and maybe less trunk would help to keep my eye within the frame.  Be careful with the processing as you are losing detail in the trunk through the highlights.  This can be fixed post processing


A nice concept.  I like how all paths lead to the main focus.  Nice detail in each segment with lots for my eye to explore.  I’m not sure if its 100% sharp and watch you highlights when processing as they dominate the image.

Through the trees 

An unusual approach with a zoom effect when a subject is obviously vertical in nature.  This has resulted in a very dominate main subject of the in focus tree trunk and a mass of lime green foliage at the base of the image, both of which draw my eye and make it difficult to look around the frame.  The bright highlights are dominant but these could be reduced through process.  For me a stronger image would have been to move the camera vertically along the trunk to blur the scene. 

too long in the fridge 
A nice try but I think the story is lost in the processing.  The blue is too over powering and the purple makes the whole story unbelievable.

Ward beach needle 

A nice concept which would have resulted in a stronger image if you had walked a lot closure to the rock as there seems to be lots of potential there.  The lighting is very harsh but by walking around to the side and getting up close I think you would have obtained a very strong image.  The folds in the rock I can see would make a great starting point and there are others that I can see.  A missed opportunity. 

Motorbike Fun 

A great action image.  I get a real feeling of this rider coming around the corner a little too fast and about to fall off, but putting their boot out to correct themselves.  The colours of the bike reflect in the bushes and his helmet.  Well processed and the framing makes me focus well on the subject.

Fern Wraith 

A lovely monochrome of this fern with the processing or reflection giving a feeling of a kaleidoscope, I just expect to turn the tube to get another image.  The path from the lower edge takes me into the image and the leaves extending in from the sides help to frame and maintain my focus.  Take care with the processing as the strong highlights tend to dominate. 


There are the makings of a strong image here.  The use of movement with the camera has produced an abstract image, but I don’t think there was enough difference in the subject matter to obtain the result you wanted.  The large dominate lime green foreground holds my eye and when I move from that its drawn to the upper right corner.  Try cropping the left side off and focusing on the right top two thirds (just a small amount of the lime green at the lower edge to help frame) and see if that is a stronger image.


A simple image with a strong narrative.  It is amazing what we can infer from these simple lines and the abstract paths across the frame.  It makes me think of a small child being caught drawing on a newly paint wall.  I like how there is no clear direction, multiple patterns within one scene.  Well processed

To warp speed nine 

The use of just two basic (prime) colours produces a strong narrative.  The zone effect from the lens gives that falling effect.  The lines radiating from or to the centre to make me focus on the flower.  Did you consider a square format? Simple and effective, well done


To me the story here is about being caught playing in the fountain.  The parents dashing in and picking up the child and the boots that were a little too big being left behind, great fun.  I like how the light, colours and lines draw my eye to the focus of this scene and frame it.  The highlight in the top left corner is a little distracting and could be either cropped or adjusted in processing.  Great story.


Nice leading lines from the both the water and the shoreline that takes my eye to the subject and then to the horizon and up into a mass of grey uninteresting sky.  The colours are rich and there is a feeling of peace about the image but my eye keeps searching for more of a story.  May be a tighter crop to remove more of the sky to force me to focus on the water and the boat? 

Agapanthas Ghost 

An image that gives that looking through a rain-soaked window on the long trip home.  Rain always seems to make the colours more saturated, lifts the mood and makes the trip not so bad.  A nice concept which has been well executed.  Some of the highlights are a little dominate which could easily be corrected in post processing.

Autumn Ripples 

A lovely rich image that shows those autumn colours of beautifully.  I can just imagine gliding down a canal and seeing these colours, maybe in the UK or Europe somewhere, reminds me winter is just around the corner. Well done

Beach Pebble in Surf 

For me this scene could have been created in a number of ways.  This for me is not fully abstract but it does have the making if it had been cropped in a different way and it would be worth experiment.  The colours are really nice and the use of a long exposure goes part way to give that abstract feel.


A beautiful image, which has been well executed and processed.  The layers of soft colour take me into the scene and make me drift around the image.  I really hope you get this printed and on your wall.  Well done

Drop of colour 

To me this is a beautifully lit image of raindrops on the petals of this flower.  There are some lovely reflections within the drops and there is nothing distracting in the background; however, it isn’t really abstract enough.  A closer crop or use of a macro lens on some of the drops would have made a more powerful image

Fleeting Spirit 

A great concept using nature to create an amazing image.  The dark green background helps to focus my eye on the movement of the white bird.  I wonder if the use of a square format would help? Would be interesting to see the results. Well done

Floating Flight 

Another great idea, but for me there is too much that is sharp about this image to make it a true abstract.  There are a number of images within the frame that could make a good abstract and it would be worth exploring that with the original file.  Take care with the processing as there are a number of highlights that are distracting.


A great attempt at double exposure.  For me there are easily two really good images here and both could make a good abstract but together they seem to be fighting each other.  The top left corner is the stronger image with the diagonal line cutting the frame would be one image and the second would be to remove the lower third of the current image.

Hues of Nature 

Great image with a real feeling of movement.  The tones are soft and I’m really trying to understand if this is a plant or water flowing over rocks.  Well processed and framed.

HuHu Bugs Wings - 2 

A lovely macro of this bug.  The veins looking more like a drone image of road network.  The tones give a monochrome effect and a 3d feel.  Well processed. 

Natures Tapestry 

Another good macro study of this leaf.  The image highlights the delicateness of nature, how the slightest thing will cause damage and destruction.  Makes me think of over population, housing estates and inner-city road networks.  
Simple, elegant and well seen. Reminds me more of an octopus than noodles.  Great image, well done 


I really like the rainbow of coloured lights, reminds me of rainy nights and travelling home on the train in winter.  The droplets take me into the frame and leave me to explore all the different patterns and colours.   

Plums on a tree, abstract 

Wow this really plays with your mind and eyes.  The red and green really pops from the screen.  Great use of these two very powerful colours and a great example of an abstract image.  I think the purple strip could be cropped so the image really focuses on the two tones.


A great concept – the oil spill has some beautiful tones giving the impression of flying over some part of Africa.  My eye is taken from left to right and through the image to explore all the different shapes and colours.  Well seen and captured


There are the makings of a good image here.  The strong green lines take my eye from the left-hand side diagonally to the top right where I find a very over powering green shape which for me holds my attention.  To make a stronger image I would think about cropping this out to allow me to focus on the soft wisps of colour throughout the image.

Ripples at the Beach 

Simple and elegant.  The image reminds me of country lanes and fields empty for winter.  Nice use of negative space, with lovely detail in each of the four quarters.  Well seen and processed.


A beautiful image that has been well processed.  I like how the tones move through the spectrum.  The pale sand in the lower corner seeming to creep into the frame taking my eye into the frame and then the explosion of colour of blue and green.  Simple and elegant.  I would love to see this printed. 

Sea Pearls 

Nice composition with the sea pearls forming a diagonal across the frame from bottom left to top right.  There are some lovely details on the surfaces of these pearls and a number of great opportunities to make a strong abstract which for me have been missed.  Closing in on the opening or focusing on the surface a couple of examples.  The lighting is a little harsh to bring out the detail, might be worth experimenting more, with different lighting and angles.  

Skeleton Trees 

A perfect monochrome as this gives a lovely feel and mood to this image. It almost seems 3d, like a duvet on a cold day that I want to fall into. The strong line from the lower left corner draws and takes my eye into the image and I’m left to wonder through looking at the details of each branch.  Well seen and processed.

Stark Beauty 

There is a real crunch in this image telling me the story of the suspension of life in the depth of winter but with a glimpse of life in the blue of the frozen water.  My eye travels alone the zigzag line from the bottom of the frame to the top left but is distracted on the way by the many different images throughout the frame, almost substories within the frame that seem to compete with each other.  There seems to be a number of possible crops to this image and it would be interesting to see those and if they make a stronger image. 

Sun spangled web 

An interesting concept, by focusing on the web and either turning the camera or zooming on a long exposure you have manage to create a completely different feel to this image.  I really feel like I’m falling into a whirlpool.  The side lighting helps to give depth and mood.  Well done 

The Secret Pool 

A nice concept, the pool takes my eye into the frame and then I’m lost in this mass of green with nothing really to focus on and draw my eye.  The branches at the top right corner are over powering and dominate which takes me away from the pool and focus of the image.  There are a number of strong highlights which could be removed in post processing.  For me a crop to the lower third of the image should be considered to give a stronger abstract image and remove the dominance of the branches at the top of this image.

The Shades of Summer 

There are some nice tonal ranges in this soft summer image.  My eye is drawn naturally from left to right.  For me there are a number of distractions which could be removed by cropping as I think the stronger part of the image is in the upper two thirds.  The white lines in the lower third are too dominate and hold my eye.  I like the top left corner with the cool green and cream tones.

The Tree 

There’s a real Monet feel about this image.  The tree seems like a ghost in the landscape.  Nice almost two tone image which for me gives it strength.  Well processed.

Tulip abstract 

A beautiful image in pink wrapped in green.  A real happy feeling from this image that reminds me of Blackpool rock as a child (sorry if you don’t know what that is – just brightly colour tubes of sugar that you get in the UK seaside).  A great example of an abstract image for me.

Upside down 

A nice concept – the reflections of these grasses in the still water of the river or pool/lake side.  My eye is taken from the top of the image down into the frame and I’m left to explore each of the grasses and fall out of the frame at the bottom.  For me there are a number of images within this frame that could possibly make a stronger image for example cropping to just the stems running along the top third, or just the heads of the grass.  It would be nice to see these and I think worth experiment more with this image as it has such potential. 


Simple, elegant and very powerful.  There’s not really anything more to say.  Did you try a square format? 

about to hug grandad 

There is a good sense of fun about this image.  There is a real emotional interaction between the grand daughter and her granddad.  A moment well caught.  I did find the background a little distracting and the processing too soft, neither colour nor black and white.

bridesmaid and her Mum 

Great interaction between mother and daughter, another moment well captured.  Once again, the background is too distracting for my liking and the processing loses the impact that this image could have.

The Hill Crest 

A nice concept with the use of the low horizon line and the model just walking to the crest.  I like the sense of movement in her dress and the boots look very retro.  The clouds along the horizon give a feel of power and seem to follow the line of the dress, however there is a lot of sky with very little interest which I think could be cropped to produce a more powerful image and really make me focus of the subject. 


There’s no mistaking what this image is about.  You have managed to fill the frame with these beautiful flowers.  The sidelight gives a softness to the image and really makes them pop from the print.  Great processing without any burnt-out highlights, no distractions just the flowers.  Well seen and captured.

Bluebells in the Park 
Such a simply well executed abstract.  The small hints of blue draw my eye and then I wonder around looking at all the beautiful tones and textures.  The shadows add depth to the image giving a 3d effect. The print has been well produced.

Queen Annes Lace 
A lovely example of a high key image.  Lots of detail in each of these small seed heads that give the appearance of being so delicate – just like lace.  I would love to see this in a square matt.  Well printed

Rolling and Tumbling 

Simple and elegant.  Great use of negative space.  The blocks of colour are bold and strong.  I like how the light seems to be reflected in both the top left corner and then in the opposite bottom right to give a balance.  Well seen and printed.

Tangled Up In Blue (Ice) 
There is a real feeling of falling about this image.  I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff about to go over the edge into the swirling sea beneath.  There is a strong diagonal of white waves from the top left corner taking my eye down and into the frame to be swallowed by the mass of blue and patched of black.  I find the blue a little too saturated and over powering which for me could be fixed in post processing.

Peacock Similarly 

Such a beautiful bird which is amazing to see.  The slight side angle gives depth and proportion but detail has been lost in the burnt out highlights.  Could this be corrected in post processing?  My eye is distracted by the background which is a shame.

Ravaged By Time 
A well-executed monochrome print.  My eye instantly focuses on the main post which really shows the effects of time and sea.  I then easily drift around the frame moving from post to post.  The use of a long exposure causes a softness of the water which contrasts nicely against what’s left of the posts.  The square format works well with this composition.  Well seen and printed. 

SS Endeavour 

A nice concept and I’m assuming a lot of work in Photoshop to stitch all these different parts together to make a story of this old ship battling its way through these rough sea and storm to avoid the rocks.  Well printed


Set Subject